Become A

Make a Difference at Literacy Pittsburgh

Volunteers are the core of our program. They bring optimism and enthusiasm, create positive energy, and provide the opportunity for our students to make profound changes in their lives.   

We always welcome new volunteers to support our organization. Becoming a Literacy Pittsburgh volunteer allows you to meet inspiring people with diverse experiences and grounds you with a sense of purpose. We offer flexibility to work around your schedule. Our volunteer program provides you with an opportunity for personal and professional growth, and allows you to see the impact of your actions.

Last year, more than 650 volunteers gave 77,000 hours to help our students succeed.

Tutoring is the most popular activity for volunteers. Volunteer tutors who teach Literacy Pittsburgh students receive nine hours of training in teaching methods. After completing their training, tutors are matched with a student or group of students. Tutors are asked to hold two sessions totaling four hours a week and to make at least a six-month commitment. Students and tutors meet on days and times and in public locations that are mutually convenient. No previous teaching experience is required; however, new volunteer tutors must possess or be working toward earning a four-year college degree.* You are not required to speak a foreign language to be a tutor of a foreign-born student.

As a tutor, you will receive a great deal of support from our experienced staff. We do not leave you on your own to decide what to teach or how to teach it. We’ll help you with teaching techniques, preparing lesson plans, using teaching materials, and with any other challenges you encounter.

If tutoring is not for you, please consider other Literacy Pittsburgh volunteer opportunities. Non-tutoring volunteer opportunities do not require a college degree. You can work one-to-one with a student to complete online job applications, practice interview skills, or discuss American workplace expectations and culture. Organize a group of friends or co-workers to help English as a Second Language students practice their listening and speaking skills. Or, share your passion for literacy with friends, colleagues and family as a fundraising volunteer. You could recruit your company as a sponsor, organize an event to benefit Literacy Pittsburgh, start a crowdfunding page, or serve on a committee. 

With the critical support of our dedicated volunteers, Literacy Pittsburgh can truly make a difference and build better lives through learning.

This requirement is mandated by the Pennsylvania Department of Education effective July 1, 2011. A copy of the degree or transcript will be required before a tutor can be matched with a student(s). 

Other Opportunities
Volunteer Spotlight: Karen
“My experience as a tutor opened my eyes to how hard people will work to achieve goals. My students are fathers, and they work to make their families lives better by bringing them here, by working seven days a week, and by attending tutoring sessions after working all day so they could deal with teachers, doctors, landlords, and grocery store clerks.  Seeing their efforts, talking about their challenges, I see that immigrants are so good for this country.”
Photo of Volunteer Spotlight: Karen